Thursday, September 17, 2009

3 MAPS, 8 projects, 7 years, 1 city

Mayor Mick today unveiled the new MAPS 3 proposal that he has in mind. It will cost $777 million, including an extra $17 million in contingency funding, calling for a 7 year and 9 month penny tax extension. Personally I think this is low. It includes funding for 8 projects intended to appease a diverse range of citizens, making it likely to pass. The 8 projects are:

  1. New 70-acre downtown park, currently being designed by Hargreaves. I've heard of 3 concepts being explored, one sort of plays up natural topographical forms here in Oklahoma, a second focuses on a water feature, and a third focuses on land features.
  2. New downtown streetcar system as well as the potential for start-up funding for other rail projects such as commuter lines (to MWC) and a transit hub that the City Council asked ACOG to start looking into.
  3. New downtown convention center. I have to say I'm concerned about this because they will likely put it in the wrong place and underfund it, saying "we can leave open the potential for future expansion." Don't get too excited about this item, especially if there is only $760 to go around for all 8 projects.
  4. More sidewalks to be placed throughout the city..which was also included on the $900+ million bond issue passed in 2008. I'd be curious to hear from Mayor Mick why an item included on the last bond issue has not had progress made on it and why we need to include it on MAPS 3 as well.
  5. 57 miles of new trails throughout the city. Likely a great idea because it's an inexpensive item that helps persuade some citizens, such as seniors, who might not otherwise support a list of downtown-specific projects. With a 57 miles in routes, it's likely that many prospective voters would be passed by such routes.
  6. Improvements to the Oklahoma River, including a public whitewater facility and the upgrades that the Boathouse Foundation has suggested
  7. "State-of-the-art" health and aquatic wellness centers "throughout the city" for seniors
  8. Improvements to the Fairgrounds..probably on a much smaller scale than what they had initially asked for out of MAPS 3.
With $760 million to go's how I see it. We'll see how far I am when they go into greater detail at next Tuesday's meeting, when the City Council will be expected to vote on this.

Convention Center - $320 million
Oklahoma River - $100 million
Downtown Streetcar - $120 million
Core to Shore Park - $100 million
City-wide Trail System - $30 million
Sidewalks Initiative - $20 million
State Fairgrounds - $50 million
Senior Centers - $70 million

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